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ERIC Number: EJ1082742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
A Student-Built Scanning Tunneling Microscope
Ekkens, Tom
Physics Teacher, v53 n9 p539-541 Dec 2015
Many introductory and nanotechnology textbooks discuss the operation of various microscopes including atomic force (AFM), scanning tunneling (STM), and scanning electron microscopes (SEM). In a nanotechnology laboratory class, students frequently utilize microscopes to obtain data without a thought about the detailed operation of the tool itself. I wanted to give my students a deeper appreciation for the physics by having them build a simple scanning tunneling microscope. Initially, 15 hours of an upper-division laboratory class were devoted to building and operating the STM. As the build process was refined, the time commitment for this project has shrunk to nine hours. Using the method described in this paper, the project is now simple enough that it can be built and operated by students in the introductory class.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A